The James Beard Foundation Awards are the culinary world’s Oscars and Emmys in one glamorous package. Each year, the finest chefs, restaurants and food writing are recognized for their excellence — and for their alignment with the Foundation’s mission: to celebrate, preserve and nurture America’s culinary heritage.This year’s JWU winners represent both established names — and those with the potential to become America’s next culinary stars.
Alumni WinnersHumanitarian of the Year Emeril Lagasse '78, '90 Hon. was recognized for his ongoing work to fund educational programs for at-risk youth in New Orleans, La.
Best Chef: Southeast Joseph Lenn '01 honed his skills alongside another acclaimed alum, Sean Brock '00. Like Brock, he favors farm-fresh ingredients, many of them produced in the Smoky Mountain foothills surrounding his Walland, Tenn., restaurant, the Barn at Blackberry Farm.
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic Johnny Monis also trained with Sean Brock. Monis’ jewel-box Washington, DC restaurant Komi reflects a similar laser-like focus on freshness, flawless execution and elegant plating.
Mario Batali, Mark Ladner '90 and Lidia Bastianich’s elegant trattoria Del Posto was honored for Outstanding Service.
HDRs Win HonorsA trio of honorary doctorate recipients also earned JFBA acclaim: Wylie Dufresne '07 for Best Chef: New York City (his first win); Marcus Samuelsson '06 for his biographical memoir, “Yes Chef”; and Nathalie Dupree '04 for “Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking,” written with Cynthia Graubart.
The full list of JWU winners:
Humanitarian of the Year Emeril Lagasse '78, '90 Hon. New Orleans, LA
Best Chef: Mid-Atlantic Johnny Monis, KomiWashington, DCBest Chef: Southeast Joseph Lenn '01, Barn at Blackberry FarmWalland, TN
Best Chef: New York City Wylie Dufresne '07 Hon., WD~50
Outstanding ServiceDel PostoExecutive Chef: Mark Ladner '90
Writing & Literature“Yes, Chef: A Memoir”Marcus Samuelsson '06 Hon.
American Cooking“Mastering the Art of Southern Cooking”Nathalie Dupree '04 Hon. and Cynthia Graubart
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